The nature of our work takes us far away from our Vancouver home. But we are enthusiastic travellers, taken by the pleasures of life on the road, by the very real need we feel for research and documentation, by our meetings with extraordinary artisans and cultures, and by the purpose given to our lives by these quests that we have set for ourselves. At times like this we wish we had the ability to speak in the voices of some of the great travel writers. We would like to be able to convey the subtle details of what we have seen; to be able to more fully convey the character of some of the people we have met; and most importantly, to be able to take you the reader along with us.
At the close of 2008 we went on a research trip to India, Cambodia and Mexico. It is always surprising to us how quickly the fruits of our travels are shared. In India we started in Assam with research into Muga and other wild silks. The visit led directly to the natural dye workshop held in February 2009. We also visited the fields and facilities used to farm organic cotton in order to see first-hand where our cotton was from. In Cambodia we met for the first time Mr. Morimoto - who established the Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles (IKTT) and was a presenter at the 2009 Symposium. In Mexico we laid the groundwork for a group visit. In addition we re-established connections with artisans working with caracol and cochineal. For the first time we visited dyers, weavers and artisans working in the Chiapas region. We were so impressed we could hardly wait to get back.
With the Symposium wrapped up and the year drawing to a close we are preparing a series of posts to share the details of our 2008 trip. Now, a year later, we can see how all the decisions we made on that trip have played out.
Maiwa 2008 Research Trip
(If you start with the first one, they are linked in order.)
Assam: Land of the Golden Silk
Looking for Three Silks
Tussar Silk in Orissa
Tussar Silk in Assam